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Vulture Industries: The Best Metal Band You've Never Heard Of

Monday, 09 December 2013 Written by Alec Chillingworth

Sometimes, you just get caught by surprise. You might step in a big pile of dog shit, or, in happier circumstances, you might accidentally stumble across the best band that no one's ever heard of.

Vulture Industries' musical output cannot be summed up easily, and they cannot be constrained by genre boundaries as they constantly flit in and out of the dark recesses of heavy music. Their third outing, 'The Tower', is a progressive masterpiece. Clocking in at nearly an hour, it's a horrifying, discombobulating kick in the face. But oh, it's brilliant.

We recently caught up with frontman Bjørnar Nilsen, who spilled the beans on his band's latest musical monstrosity.

You've gone from sounding like a hybrid of Shining and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum on your first two albums to a more expansive, grandiose sound on 'The Tower'. What was it that made you broaden your musical style even further?

I can’t attribute the change to any one source or reason. Rather, I think it is a consequence of changing both as band and as people over the years. We are not the same people who wrote 'The Dystopia Journals' and 'The Malefactor’s Bloody Register' anymore. We have changed as the years have gone by, and so has our music. Some bands resist change. We, however, have always operated within a wide framework, so it feels natural for us to embrace it. I see true art as a reflection of one’s soul - of who you are at that particular time. As the soul, changes so will its reflection. If not, it will become something false and dull.

Can you talk us through your actual writing process? How does one create music so bizarre without a shedload of drugs?

Our bass player [Kyrre Teigen] is a dentist, so he has access to a lot of good stuff that is not readily available on the normal market.

The concept of an actual tower is referred to several times throughout the new album. What does this tower represent?

Alternative answer 1: 'The Tower' is the name we gave our head of promotions at Season of Mist [label]. Given his height and impressive virility for his age, we felt the name was a fitting homage. [“I'm going to kick their sorry asses!” - Gunnar Sauermann, The Promoter]

Alternative answer 2: 'The Tower' is a metaphorical construction that represents the society we live in, and the world we create around ourselves. It might look crooked and bent from the outside, but as you are drawn into it and become part of it, all the imperfections and absurdities become logical and infallible. The higher you are drawn up into the tower, the more you lose sight of the ground and the harder the fall when falling down. In part it is also a reference to the symbolism of a tower being a harbinger of destruction, the prison (the Tower of London), and the Tower of Babel trying to reach the heavens.

'The Tower' has been receiving rave reviews and critical acclaim. What are the touring plans for the album cycle? Could a possible UK run of dates be on the cards?

We have done one tour so far, which mainly constituted Scandinavia and eastern Europe. So far we have some festivals booked across Europe for next year and are working on touring plans. We definitely will try to work in some UK dates in the schedule.

If you could pick any band to tour with, who would it be and why?

That would be Slovenian horror-prog masters Devil Doll, because that would involve multiple opportunities for me to see my favourite band live. Sadly, I have been so far bereft of the opportunity, as the only live shows they ever did were around the time of my 11th birthday.

What are your opinions on 'mainstream' metal in today's culture? Would you rather that metal stay underground, or sacrifice a certain level of so-called integrity by having bands like Avenged Sevenfold topping the music charts?

I don’t base my identity around the concept of metal to the extent where I get offended by metal bands making commercial music. I sometimes find bad music offensive though, and most of the more commercial stuff tends to be over-polished and boring in my eyes. Anyway, I retain my privilege to choose what to listen to and considering that I don’t listen to the radio nor watch television, I am not that much exposed to the most commercial aspects of metal.


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